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[Update: Money transfers & Duo calling are live] Android Messages v2.7 prepares to add new message indicators and RCS support for dual-SIM phones, drops 6 MB in size [APK Teardown]

It's time for a new version of Android Messages. The latest update takes a slightly larger than average jump from v2.5 to v2.7, but no obvious changes to the UI are really popping out. However, the apk did get much smaller with this release, and there are some things visible through the lens of a teardown. We'll keep watching for other changes, but let us know if you see anything.

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Google wants to make it easy for carriers to have interoperable RCS messaging

Last week Sprint and Rogers announced that users sending messages between the two carriers will be able to make use of RCS. RCS, of course, is the new standard to replace SMS that Google committed to back in 2015. So far each carrier seems to have its own idea for how RCS should work. But Google's recent work in cross-carrier communication is a big step towards ubiquity, and thanks to the tech behind this latest interconnect other carriers can more easily get in on the RCS action.

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Google Phone v10 enables post-call messages for failed calls, prepares for enhanced incoming calls on RCS and voicemail backup [APK Teardown + Download]

With the dust settling after the deluge caused by I/O 2017, it's time to take a closer look at some of the many other things that came with out last week. Some interesting changes came with a brand new version of the Google Phone app included with Android O Developer Preview 2. There's a new prompt suggesting users send a message after a call fails to connect. A deep dive into the apk also turned up signs that Google is working on new RCS calling features and preparing some kind of backup option for voicemail.

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Celcom will be the first Malaysian carrier to use Google Jibe RCS

The first carrier to support Google's Jibe RCS technology was Sprint, back in November of last year. Since then, several carriers in Canada, Asia, and Europe have made the switch. Now it looks like Celcom will support Jibe RCS, becoming the first carrier in Malaysia to do so.

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Samsung announces its own RCS service, will be intercompatible with other RCS clouds

RCS is designed as the (eventual) successor to SMS and MMS, but it's a bit of a mess right now. Several carriers have their own implementations of the standard, often incompatible with each other. Google's Jibe RCS Cloud is quickly gaining ground, but there's still only one US carrier supporting it - Sprint. Now Samsung has announced its own RCS cloud.

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Google announces RCS support for Orange, Deutsche Telekom, and Globe subscribers

Late last year, Google announced that Sprint would be the first carrier to use its Jibe RCS Cloud platform. Several more carriers have joined since then, including Rogers in Canada and Telanor in Europe and Asia. In a blog post from Google, the company announced that Orange, Deutsche Telekom, and Globe will be rolling out Jibe RCS to their customers.

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Google and Telenor launch RCS messaging in some European and Asian countries

Rich Communication Services (RCS) are one of the hottest topics in messaging circles nowadays, despite the fact that plenty of users have already committed to one or several non-SMS solutions for talking with everyone in their lives. But hey, you can't blame operators for wanting to keep you using their services instead of some third-party ones. Even if all RCS solutions are not created equal and the fragmentation of standards makes this an inelegant proposition, carriers are moving forward with their implementation.

The saga of RCS on Android started with Google acquiring Jibe, followed by the official launch of RCS support in the Google Messenger app and its first partnership with Sprint in the US, then another collaboration with Rogers in Canada, and now we're seeing it spread to Europe and Asia with Telenor.

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Google Phone v8.0 makes voicemail shareable, fixes a mismatched icon, and begins work on an RCS-based calling feature [APK Download + Teardown]

An update to the Google Phone app came out a few days ago, but left many people wondering what the changes were. This version doesn't have a whole lot to show off, but a close examination does reveal a couple of interesting things both active and hidden inside the apk. Users now have the option to easily share voicemails as regular files, meaning you can email them to friends or easily stash them in cloud storage. From the perspective of a teardown, Google has also added the first signs of RCS support, meaning we can look forward to some new calling features to come along in the future.

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Google Messenger RCS support is likely not in public testing for T-Mobile after all

Yesterday, we reported that T-Mobile was in the process of testing Google's/Jibe's RCS implementation. T-Mobile has had its own version of RCS (called Advanced Messaging) since 2015, but like most implementations of the RCS technology, it is not compatible across carriers like SMS.

T-Mobile implementing the Jibe Universal RCS Profile, which Sprint and (soon) Rogers support, would certainly be better for users than the current Advanced Messaging system. Unfortunately, there is no substantial evidence that it is happening at this point.

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RCS support in Messenger going live for some T-Mobile users

RCS, short for Rich Communication Services, has been aiming to replace SMS for years. But unlike the universal SMS standard, there are multiple RCS implementations that don't work with each other. Google has been trying to solve this, by adding RCS support to Google Messenger and working with carriers to implement Jibe's 'Universal RCS Profile.'

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